When you start to learn English there are a lot of small things to remember.
English grammar can be difficult at first, but when you take a few moments to study English grammar and the little details, then you can quickly improve your English skills from beginner up to pre-intermediate level or even higher.
SO vs SUCH – English grammar basics
Should you use such or so? What are the grammar rules for so and such? There is a really quick and easy explanation for you to understand the English grammar of so v such just below. Then further down the page there are more details with examples to help you really understand.
When you think you know when, how and why to use so or such, then please take the grammar test at the bottom of the page. You get your test results immediately when you finish the quiz.
QUICK SO v SUCH GRAMMAR RULE:
Use SO + ADJECTIVE (WITHOUT A NOUN)
Use SUCH + A NOUN
1. SO + ADJECTIVE: so great, so big, so tall, so crazy, so small, so sunny
2. SUCH + NOUN: such a bad mistake, such a long time, such a funny film, such an interesting story
In number 2 examples, there is an adjective in each phrase. For example in ‘such a long time’, the adjective is ‘long’. BUT, there is also a noun with the adjective. The adjective (long) is helping to describe the noun (time). And when there is a noun (even when it has an adjective connected to it), the noun is more important in deciding if you use so or such.
You look so beautiful (so + adjective)
That is such a beautiful photo (such + adjective + noun)
You look so great in that selfie! (so + adjective) (‘selfie’, which is a noun, is not directly connected to the adjective. ‘Great’ is not immediately describing ‘selfie)
That is such a fantastic selfie! (such + adjective + noun) (fantastic, an adjective, is directly describing the noun, selfie)
SO + MANY
We use SO, when we talk about a COUNTABLE noun (3 cars, 5 sisters, 1 laptop, 2 mobile phones, 534 people)
Wow, you’ve got so many friends on Facebook! Do you know them all?
I have been out so many times this month that I need to stay home and save money next month.
There were so many people on the bus this morning that I could hardly breathe!
This food is so salty I can’t eat it.
I’ve got a bad headache because I drank so many vodkas last night.
SO + MUCH
We use SUCH, when we talk about a UNCOUNTABLE noun (money, food, water, coffee, milk, garlic, golf, happiness, humour, management etc)
I’ve got a bad headache because I drank so much alcohol last night.
There is so much salt in this food. I can’t eat it.
We have got so much furniture from IKEA, we need to sell some before we buy any new stuff.
It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, there is so much corruption in politics!
SO + ADVERB
We use SO, when we use an ADVERB (quickly, slowly, beautifully, well, badly, carefully etc)
My friend speaks English so well. I wish I could learn English so quickly.
She painted the picture so carefully.
The cat walked slowly out of the house.
She sang so beautifully that it made me cry.
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1. The SGI full online grammar test – find out your current English level with immediate results
2. Adjectives v adverbs – what are the rules? Can you get 100% in the test?